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Hunters Pointe becomes Loch Ness Links

A heads up to all those fans of Hunters Pointe, [photopress:LochNess_Links.jpg,full,alignright]Graham Cooke’s strong design near Welland, Ontario (with the help of the talented Yannick Pilon). I received a call from new director of golf, and all-around good guy, John Hayward, noting the course is going through a rebranding. In the spring, the Hunters Pointe name will disappear, to be renamed Loch Ness Links.

I must admit to being perplexed by the decision when John first told me about it. I always liked Hunters Pointe as a name, but the course owners wanted something that was more representative of the faux-links theming at the course, and apparently settled on Loch Ness Links. The new name is supposed to tie in with the huge pond with which 9 and 18 play around.

As part of the rebranding, the course is also being rerouted, so golfers will start on the 10th hole, as opposed to the existing #1. That change was made due to the perceived difficulty of the current opening holes.

I must admit to finding this odd — especially since the new #2 is arguably the toughest one shot hole on the course, and I always felt the first hole gradually drew golfers into the round, before demonstrating the teeth of the course.

It will be interesting to see what sort of change this rebranding brings.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

5 CommentsLeave a comment

  • This course is one of my favourtie course in Ontario, if not my favourite. I am originally from Welland, and now reside in Toronto, and make my way down to play this course approx a half dozen times a year. I agree 100% with your comments, none of this makes any sense to me at all. The name Hunters Pointe is a great name for the course, and if they wanted to bring attention to the links aspect of the course, then change the name to “The Links at Hunters Pointe”. By bringing the name “Lochness” into it, the course name sounds gimmicky. True golf fans already know about this course, and if they wanted to bring in a bigger audience, they should have spent there money on advertising of the course and not on re-branding.

    Also, starting the course with those first 5 holes was a great way to get yourself ready for the conditions on the last 13 holes. The first hole was a great starting par 4. I once again agree completely with your comments, and starting on the 6th hole puts you right into the wind conditions right off the bat, along with the now difficult second hole. The whole idea is crazy.

    Ofcourse I will stay play the course, but in my opinion, none of these changes are needed or warranted.

  • The name Hunter’s Pointe didn’t truly reflect the golfing experience the course offers. However, going with a “truly Scottish” name such as “Loch Ness Links” immediately lets one know the course is a links-style, very similar to the impressive courses in Scotland. All it lacks is to be seaside, as opposed to canal-side, which would make it even more impressive that it already is!

    In my opinion, there is not a course in the Niagara Peninsula or Golden Horseshoe area for that matter, that is as unique and provides the test of golf more adequately and fulfilling than Loch Ness Links. Playing here regularly “WILL” make one a better golfer. The greens are the smoothest in the entire region and the layout, design and condition are second to none.

    I appreciate the owners’ attempts to maintain the course the way they always have and applaud their going forward to say in three words, what one is in for when they play on this superb golf course.

    Kudos for all involved! I can’t wait to play it again.

  • I am from across the border residing in Amherst, NY. I am an e-club member who will continue to drive the 45min. to play this beautiful and challenging course. The name change was not needed in my opinion but I appreciate the business in promoting and maintaining a course like this. Good luck with the name change I hope it is a good decision for your business.

    In regards to changing the starting hole, not sure it is the best move. I like the starting hole, a straight easy drive will set you up withan approach of 150 yards or less. My friend Eric, also an e-club member, has trouble starting on this hole due to his duck hook and will probably agree with the change. It won’t matter to us in the long run because we love the entire course, clubhouse and staff and will still make it our choice for the best golf course in Western NY and Ontario, Canada.

  • I am sorry but that name chande just sucks and great course like hunter point which everyone still calls .Does not deserve such a cheesey name like that How about Bob s driving range thats about as classy as this new name . niagara is blessed with great courses with a classy names to it THIS IS NOT ONE

  • I can’t believe they changed the name without a co-ordinated change of the names on HWY signs, etc. Hunters Pointe was becoming a well established name in the Niagara Region. Although the name outside the course reads Lock Ness, no one knows what course you are talking about unless you refer them to the original name, Hunters Pointe. Its taken 5 years (?) to establish a brand only to throw all that effort down the drain. Don’t figure!! However, it’s still a great course.

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